Sedona Real Estate News & Info From A to Z

Landscape For Your Climate

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Landscape for Your ClimateIn some climates, visions of lush green lawns, English gardens bursting with color and a sparkling fountain filling the air with the tinkling of thousands of water drops may float through your head when dreaming of your ideal home. But, you’re responsible, so you’ve planned for your new home to be efficient: changing outdated toilets for modern low-flow versions, installed sustainable bamboo flooring, energy-efficient windows and natural gas appliances and even added extra insulation. So your yard, naturally, should be just as ecologically sustainable. Do your research on what trees, plants and flowers work best for your climate zone.  One of the best ways to determine the type of landscape is to go to your local nursery and see what is available.  Ask your nursery about planting conditions for each season as well as the season you are in. The climate in Sedona is much different than the climate in Flagstaff or Phoenix. So picking the right landscaping plan will help your plants thrive better.

Plan to replace that voraciously thirsty lawn with a beautiful, low-maintenance dry-scape. Dry-scaping (also called desert-scaping, or xeriscaping) is landscaping that uses less water, protects local wildlife and conserves energy while naturally fitting in with the regional environment. Since most climates support a wide variety of plant life, you’ll want to be sure to choose native plants. Before tearing up the existing lawn, however, consider the ways you’ll use the outdoor spaces, the slope and lay of the land and the effort you want to put into maintaining it.

Carefully plan your site

Take time to determine how wind, sun, shade and water naturally factor into your property. Hire a professional to test the soil. When property slopes even a slightly, water naturally flows differently than on a flat elevation. You’ll want to place play or entertainment areas at a higher point so that water doesn’t pool in them. Use a lower area for a water feature or for plants that would benefit from the runoff.

Conserve water and soil

A professional landscaper or local gardening shop can offer the perfect plants to conserve water and soil. When plants require added water, install a drip-irrigation system that slowly adds water directly to the plant. a drip-irrigation system reduces waste as compared to sprinklers. Drip systems also prevent both evaporation and overwatering. Be sure to preserve any natural existing trees, but replace high-maintenance ones with quick-growing climate positive varietals. Install shade-tolerant plants in the shadow of trees. Consider replacing lawn with heavier ground cover (larger gravel, lava rock, or native plants) to reduce water consumption and protect from erosion.

Create a functional space

Because lawns offer activity and play area, carefully use materials and designs to enhance the usefulness of your landscape. If you replace turf grasses with pea gravel for a play area—or even mulch, sand, or recycled materials designed especially to use in playgrounds your children’s area can be both easily maintained and functional.

Design your entertainment areas with gravel and paver stones in artful combination to beautiful and protect from erosion while requiring less water. Check out these images for some great ideas.

Contemplate alternative materials

Enhance natural landscaping materials like mulch and gravel by using alternatives such as recycled concrete and brick for rock garden and retaining walls, re-purposed rubber tires for playground areas, and tumbled glass “mulch” to add color to raised flower beds and garden walkways.

Consider maintenance needs

No matter what landscape options you choose, if your yard becomes a haven for weeds or requires lots of effort, its use and your pleasure in it are diminished.

  • Check local requirements for herbicides that work best and are safe for the local environment.
  • Cover bare soil with water permeable barriers or fabric. Layer your gravel or mulch over the fabric making sure it is completely covered.
  • Set timers on irrigation systems.

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Pools vs. Drought? Who Wins? Who Loses?

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Laguna Beach Starts Moratorium on Building Pools 

 

Pools vs Drought

Laguna Beach

City officials just recently decided to put a moratorium in place for pool contruction.  This makes it the first city in Southern California to do so.  The city of Milpitas in Northen California has already put a moritorium on pool construction.

As most of you know, California is experiencing one of the worst droughts in it’s history, and an emergency drought declaration was issued by the state’s governor.  Though, there are state wide restrictions limiting the amount of water that can be used, each region and city or community may experience a different level of concern based on where the water comes from.  Some cities have to import water.  Other cities get water from wells or they have a contract with a nearby city or company that supplies the water.

Cities such as Laguna Beach that have to import water are most concerned over usage.  Pool construction moratoriums have taken center stage.  Many other cities in California are in different stages considering a moratorium.

So what is the benefit of a Pool Construction Moratorium?  

More available water … right? Not so fast. As a read through an article provided by ReMax Evolution, it does not state anywhere that a conversation about actual evaporation rates of a pool vs. grass vs. drought resistant plants and drip systems. I think this should at least be part of the conversation.


Who are the biggest losers in this battle?  

Pool construction companies will be hit the hardest.  This will have a ripple effect throughout the California construction industry as well as real estate sales and possibly new construction.

The consumer who wants to build a pool is also affected. According to Milpitas City manager tom Williams, they will allow projects already in construction to go through. He also said that some residents who want a pool badly have said they are willing to import the water from another state to fill the pool.

Anther question that should be discussed.

What role do pool covers play in reducing evaporation rates?  One article says that pool covers reduce evaporation by 90-95% and can save a pool owner 3 to 5000 gallons of water per summer.  How does this compare to water resistant plants? Maybe pool covers should be part of the permitting process. No pool cover no pool!

An average 100 x 100 sf lawn uses 6230 gallons every time the water is turned on .

Efficent Irrigation

If a pool owner or builder can make arrangements with another state not affected by a drought, to import water at their cost and evaporation rates are minimal, is it prudent to a city to take each pool construction plan on a case by case basis?

More Information Means Better Decisions

Knowing this key research about evaporation rates, pool covers,  and importing of water may help to provide a better assessment of what rules and regulations are put into place.

I have been told that Sedona gets our water from an aquifer that starts up in Flagstaff area and flows south.  I heard there is an 85 year supply.  But as we continue to grow, new water consumers are being added.  The water is there but the delivery system (wells etc.) needs to be improved or new wells etc. need to be built to provide more water.  So even with a lot of available water, we need to conserve as well.  Other areas in the Verde Valley also have conservation programs in place.

The Worldwatch Institute also has conflicting points of view on drip irrigation systems.  What some may consider wasted water through spray irrigation, others claim that water is returned to the aquifer if not used.  Some studies show that spray irrigation has an evaporation rate or runoff of anywhere from 50% to 80% depending on the land conditions, climate etc.  Drip systems are about 80 to 90% effective for bringing water to plants and trees but as mentioned may not return much water back to the aquifer.

Sedona Pool Homes

 

 

Sedona – Are Home & Land Prices Rising?

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JULY

HOMES & LAND FOR SEDONA AND THE VERDE VALLEY

Sedona Homes For Sale

Homes & Land for Sedona AZ

Latest Sedona Real estate Listings!

Also, we are excited to bring to the Sedona Homes & Land market 2 new listings! To find out more about these listings you can go to this link to check out the virtual tours.

New Price

The Clarkdale Lot, MLS #501428 is now at $99,900. This lot already has well and septic included. The views of Sedona and the surrounding area are phenomenal!

Market Profile – Sedona Homes For Sale

Since January 2015, the asking price per square foot for Sedona homes and land has dropped significantly from $274 to $234 in July. This has propelled the Market Action Index upward toward 30 which is what it takes to be in a seller’s market. The MAI is up from June’s 28.5 to 29.4 for both zipcodes this week and showing a strong trend to continue upward. It is still a buyer’s market, but homes sales have been exceeding new inventory for several weeks. Prices are not moving higher as excess inventory is consumed. However, as supply and demand trends continue, the market will move into the Seller’s zone (30 and up) which will likely cause an upward pressure on pricing.

Another indicator of pricing is average days on market (DOM). In January the DOM was 236 and now it is at 190 (slighty up from June) and holding steady. So, in the near future we are not likely to see the price of homes rise significantly.

The fastest moving quartile is the bottom 4th. The medium price is $325,500 and shows only 121 days on market vs. 273 for the top quartile.

 

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Don’t Think of Your Home as an Investment…What?

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Don't Think of Your Home as an Investment

Isn’t that sacrilegious or something?

Despite evidence to the contrary, new homebuyers continue to believe that buying a home is the same type of investment as stocks, bonds, CDs and their 401K. If the housing boom taught us anything, it is that the purchase of the house you plan to live in should not be your sole asset toward retirement. Nor should it be.

Now certain areas of the United States such as Sedona, AZ are more unlikely to be affected by a downturn in the housing industry because for many, these are second homes.  bottom line is that people who buy here have the where-with-all to ride out a downturn.

Here’s why:

Over long periods of time, the return on investment for the home you live in is nearly zero compared to stocks and other types of investments. That is because the combination of taxes, inflation, insurance, interest and the cost of repairs and upgrades absorbs most of the increase in the home’s value. At the same time, that huge downpayment you plunked down isn’t earning interest and the other costs to purchase the home are tied up in the “investment.” This is especially true when you own the home for seven years or less. In fact, many Americans continue to believe that the value of their home will increase faster than inflation, but according to economists, history does not bear that out.

So why buy a home?

Ahhhh! The real reason to buy a home is because you want to live in it and make it your own. You want to raise your family there, become part of a community and establish your presence. Once the mortgage payments end, you’ll have a less expensive place to live in your retirement years and something to pass on to the next generation. In fact, here are the top reasons to buy a home:

  • Homeowners feel more secure in their own property. They have control over costs such as the mortgage and insurance so that they can budget. Rents rise, often without warning, making them difficult to plan for year over year.
  • For the same monthly dollar amount, typically a home has more square footage and often more usable property (patio, yard, garage) over a rented space.
  • Owning means that you can change the paint whenever you like. You can update, upgrade, renew, refurbish and modernize as your family grows.
  • Pride of ownership. Not only does it feel great, property lived in by its owners tends to show better than property lived in by renters. Owners more often view the home as an extension of themselves, investing in maintenance, upgrades and refurbishing. Owners anchor a neighborhood and ownership expresses their core values.
  • Tax considerations. This on is a bit two-sided because your tax savings are tied to your interest payments, not your principle payments. None-the-less, if your overall payment (principle, interest, mortgage insurance and taxes) is the same as your rent would be, the tax savings would increase your cash flow.
  • Forced savings. With the monthly principle amount going toward building equity, making mortgage payments forces the buyer to “save” the equity amount. Of course, the savings only become usable upon sale of the home, so the usefulness of this forced form of accumulation means holding the home long enough to “redeem” the savings upon sale of the home.

Should you buy a home?

Yes. Absolutely. But…only when it’s right for you and your circumstances. And only if you truly understand its value, both now and in your future. Our professionals can help you understand how homeownership can benefit you and your family.

When a house is an investment

Investment property is property that has the potential to increase your cash flow. These types of property include commercial properties and rentals (both multi-family and single-family homes). If you’re interested in pursuing investment property, we can help you with that too.

Compliments of Virtual Results

Fascinating Solar Energy Technology — Run Your House on a Battery

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Fascinating Home Technology

The biggest challenge to solar energy is the inability to both capture it and store it in any meaningful way. In fact, while efficiency in capturing solar power has increased from about 15 percent of most solar panel models to 35 percent efficiency in the higher ends, even when captured the energy grid is unable to store and regulate its flow throughout the day.

Enter the Tesla Powerwall

Elon Musk, CEO of electric carmaker Tesla Motors, announced earlier this year that Tesla’s new Powerwall for the home and Powerpack for commercial use already garnered 38,000 preorders. The Tesla Powerwall offers 92 percent efficiency in DC round-trip power.

Here are the basics:

The Powerwall home battery charges via electricity generated by solar panels. As solar energy wanes throughout the evening or on a cloudy day, the battery supplies energy back to your home instead of pushing it into the public power grid. The Powerwall also offers energy during a power outage, so homeowners in storm-prone areas or country homes with unreliable utility service can access emergency power.

The Powerwall utilizes a lithium ion battery with technology similar to that in Tesla automobiles and installs on the wall of your garage, basement or even outdoors. For larger homes, or those with higher power consumption requirements, multiple batteries can be installed together with up to 90 kWh total available power. Each battery in its weather resistant enclosure is just 51.2 inches by 33.9 inches and only 7.1 inches deep.

The system uses rooftop solar panels connected to the Powerwall and an inverter that directs current from both the solar panels and the Powerwall battery into your home’s alternating current power system.

For an example of how much energy your home uses in the day, consider that your refrigerator consumption is commonly 4.8 kWh/day (kilowatt hour per day) while your washer and dryer together equal about 5.6 kWh/day. Add to that your lights, laptop, flat screen television or stereo and you’re looking at about 2.5 kWh/day additional consumption.

Of course, the first question that comes to mind for a cutting –edge home technology like this is the cost. According to Tesla Motors specifications, the home-sized batteries cost just $3000 for the 7-kWh model and $3500 for the 10-kWh version. Each comes with a 10-year warranty.

If you’re looking for an energy efficient home that conforms to the requirements for solar panels, let me know. We can optimize your search so that you find the home that is just right for you and your power needs. Also remember that many resale homes have solar systems that are leased.  In most cases, these leases are transferred with the home.  As you get closer to making an offer on a home, it may pay to scrutinize the solar contract of that particular home.

Compliments of Virtual Results

Can My Real Estate Agent Offer To Buy My Home If There Are No Offers?

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Can My Real Estate Agent Offer to Buy My Home If There are No Offers?Be careful of a guarantee sell date, but with that being said, the short answer is “yes,” read the fine points of the agreement.

In a seller’s market it seems like most homes should sell — given enough time and exposure on the market. But there are some situations where a home MUST sell: the owners need to move for work or because of a job loss; or, the home was left in a will and proceeds need to be split among the inheritors; the sellers are experiencing divorce, or any number of other reasons a home needs to sell quickly.

With a quick sale required, sellers may be temped to go for an agent’s offer that sounds too good to be true: The agent will “buy your home if it doesn’t sell!”

According to Angie’s List, such offers are not scams. They are, in fact, marketing tactics that might work for you in your situation — a win-win — or, might be a really bad deal. Before signing on the bottom line, make certain you know what you’re agreeing to.

Home Sale Guarantees

Real estate professionals may offer a variety of types of guarantees. Each has its own value to both the agent and the seller:

  • “If I don’t sell your home, I’ll buy it” — Often, this type of guarantee offer comes from agents that work with investors. An investor wants to buy a home either to rent or to sell at a profit. In this scenario, you should plan to part with a chunk of your equity. This program may work for you if you need to sell quickly but don’t need top dollar from your home, if you need to sell to settle an estate, or if you’ve found a new home at a substantial discount and just can’t afford the two mortgages at once. Just know that you will see less return on this type of sale. If your agent only sells under this program and not to the general public, you’ll end up with less in your pocket.
  • “If I don’t sell your home in X months, I’ll buy it” — When a program has time stipulations, it usually also has price stipulations. You’ll most likely be agreeing to a schedule of markdowns (monthly, bi-weekly or weekly) so that by the “I’ll buy it” date it reaches the price the agent will pay for it.
  • “We guarantee you X% of the value” — In this approach, the agent offers a specific discounted price if your home doesn’t sell. Often, this is about 90% of its fair market value, plus fees and commissions.
  • In some cases, a company will help with the relocation costs and guarantee that they will buy the house if it does not sell. Make sure you read those documents so you know all the terms of that guarantee.  You want to make sure you get the most value for your money when selling your home.

The Bottom Line

Before you agree to any home sale guarantee plan, know that if the agent does not sell your home outright and the plan goes into effect you’ll be accepting far less for your home than on the open market. While this seems like a lose-lose for the typical home seller, it can be a win-win if the sale is urgent or the sellers have extenuating circumstances.

The Best Scenario

When selling your home, the best scenario is to work with a real estate professional that knows the home’s market, can advise you on the best way to prepare your home and create curb appeal, and offers all marketing resources (online, offline, print, local, signage, MLS, etc.).

Compliments of Virtual Results

Should We Preserve The Sedona Verde Valley As A National Monument?

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Sedona real estate

Sedona Verde Valley Red Rock National Monument

A Brief History of T. Roosevelt & The Conservationist Movement

“While my interest in natural history has added very little to my sum of achievement, it has added immeasurably to my sum of enjoyment in life.” Teddy Roosevelt

Teddy Roosevelt

If you studied the life of President Theodore Roosevelt, you know he was a dedicated conservationist his entire life. We might not have the Grand Canyon and other National Parks as we know them today if it were not for Teddy Roosevelt. He established the Antiquities Act and signed it into law on June 8, 1906. The Act establishes the archeological sites on public lands as important public resources. It obligates federal government agencies to preserve and protect these lands for historic, scientific, cultural, commemorative and archeological purposes for present and future generations. It also authorizes the President to protect landmarks, structures, and other objects of historic or scientific interest by designating them as National Monuments.

What Is The Difference Between A National Park and Monument?

This act grew out of concern in the last quarter of the 19th century that the rapid development of national lands would possibly endanger these sites and artifacts. Most of us really don’t see much difference between a National Park or Monument. National Parks are protected due to scenic, inspirational, education, and recreational value. A National Monument have objects of historical, cultural, and/or scientific value. A Monuments can be quite varied. For example, They may protect such areas or objects such as wilderness, fossils, forts, ruins, historic buildings or other structures. Historic cemeteries or battle grounds would also fall into the category of National Monuments or Parks.

Grand Canyon National Park Arizona

Famous National Parks include: Grand Canyon AZ, Great Smoky Mountains NC-TN, Hawaii Volcanoes HI, Sequoia CA, Shenandoah VA, Glacier Bay AK, Yellowstone WY-MT, Yosemite CA.

Rainbow Bridge National Monument Utah

Famous National Monuments include: Fort Sumter SC, George Washington’s Birthplace VA, Rainbow Bridge UT, Statue of Liberty NY, White Sands NM, WWII Valor (Pearl Harbor) HI.

It Takes An Act of Congress….!

It literally takes an Act of Congress to establish a National Park. On the other hand, a National Monument can be established by the President through the use of the Antiquities Act.

Sedona Verde Valley Red Rock National Monument

A quick little story…. Legend has it that when Teddy Roosevelt was President, he was making his way west across the country to identify areas which could be considered for National Park or Monument designation. As he criss-crossed the states, he came down through Utah to the Grand Canyon and was going to continue south through Sedona but urgent business in Washington DC forced him to take a train out of Flagstaff back to DC. He never got to Sedona….

Sedona homes for sale Chapel area

If you have ever visited Sedona or the Verde Valley, you know the beauty and majesty of the Red Rocks. The region is steeped in history and areas that need to be preserved. There are fossil sites as well as Petroglyphs and Pictographs, commonly referred to as “rock art”, throughout the Sedona-Verde Valley area. As many Native American sites need to be protected and preserved as possible. Some of these sites have already been discovered and preserved but others need to be identified. This area was a big part of the heritage of “Wild West”. There are forts, abandoned mines and historic buildings still standing in Cottonwood, Jerome, Camp Verde, and Sedona, all of which has been well preserved due to our mild dry climate. But the big question is …Do we need the federal government stepping in to usurp local and state authority?

national monuments

If you are not familiar with Sedona, this is a great site to learn about the area. You can learn about the communities of the Verde Valley at http://sellsedona.com/communities/ .

My Position On This Issue

I have been to a few meetings and many hours of discusssion on this subject. I along with most of the realtors and business community feels this is not only a bad idea but will harm future business, ranching and real estate values as already demonstrated in many western states where National Monuments have taken over. The system currently in place in the Verde Valley, is governed by local people for local people and it is working!

Without getting too far into the minutia of the proposal, the control of the entire area would fall under the control of the federal government. Every aspect of development or maintenance of property outside city limits would require permits of some sort and open to hearings and possible lawsuits before any development and in many cases maintenance can take place.

Ron Volkman voiced the opposing argument for the Sedona Verde Valley Assoc. of Realtors (SVVAR). at a Sedona City Council meeting. He said the KSB proposal contains “dangerous possibilities” and “is a very real threat to private property rights, graing and water rights.”

For example, if a dozer is needed to clear a wooded area of dead or dying trees the process above is the only way heavy equipment can be brought in to clear an area. In most cases, it becomes cost prohibitive for the land owner.

Furthermore, farms and ranches go out of business and the land is devalued. Water rights also come under the control of the federal government often to the detriment of the local population which loses control of conservation efforts and usage.

The feds have control over roads, trails, etc. so, they could easily close a trail or road without any local input if they deem that it is not in the “National” interest to maintain the road or trail. Camping in open lands currently would also be jeopardized or off limits in the proposed National Monument.

The state and local tax base is also depleted. Unlike eastern states, western states such as Arizona, Utah, Nevada, etc. are under much higher degree of federal control. To give you an example of how much initial property would be aquired for the monument, it would encompass 160,000 acres in and around Sedona and Village of Oak Creek.

As of 2010, here is an example of FEDERAL ownership of land.

Western States Federal Land Acreage

Nevada – 81.1%

Utah – 66.5%

Alaska – 61.8%

Idaho – 61.7%

Oregon – 53.0%

Wyoming – 48.2%

California – 47.7%

Arizona – 42.3%

Colorado – 36.2%

Eastern & Midwest States

New York – 0.7%

Rhode Island – 0.8%

Ohio – 1.1%

Illinois – 1.1%

Maine – 1.1%

Massachusetts – 1.6%

Pennsylvania – 2.1%

New Jersey – 3.7%

Wisconsin – 5.3%

If you consider Texas a western state (personally I consider it a southern state) it would be an exception to the rule at 1.8%. But, let’s remember that Texas was a country before becoming a state and Texas history and Texas mindset plays a big part in why the federal government does not have much land or control of the land. Reference information for the above chart can be found on page 5 of the Federal Land Ownership: Overview and Data.

This has only increased since the print date. Once the Feds have control of an area they can annex more area with very little input from the state.Cathedral Rock Sedona Arizona

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LISTING (Cornville Homes For Sale) in Amante – Verde Santa Fe

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Verde Santa Fe Amante Cornville Homes For Sale

Golf Community – Amante Cornville AZAmante Verde Santa Fe for saleOffered At $199,500 By Sheri Sperry ReMax Sedona

Located in the gated golf community of Amante in Verde Santa Fe, Cornville, this Amante home for sale  is only 30 minutes from Sedona. It is close to big box stores in Cottonwood as well as minutes away from the Medical Center and all other medical facilities.

It has a neutral color palette, modern floor plan with 3 bedrooms , great room, 2 baths and easy-care landscape. There is also the community clubhouse, pool and other amenities with 18 holes of golf within the community of Verde Santa Fe. See Verde Santa Fe Golf Club.

#VerdeSanteFeGolfCourse
Golf Fees Not Included

More Pictures of the Verde Santa Fe Amante Home For Sale

Cornville AZ Home For Sale

Cornville Home For Sale

Amante - Verde Santa Fe Home For Sale

Amante Verde Santa Fe House for sale

Gated Community of Verde Santa Fe

Gated Community of VSF

Cornville AZ house for sale

View Property Cornville AZ

Verde Santa Fe Community Clubhouse

1VSF-Front

Verde Santa Fe Pool

VSF Pool Room

Verde Santa Fe 18 Hole Golf Course

#VerdeSanteFeGolfCourse
Golf Fees Not Included
#VerdeSanteFeGolfCourse
Golf Fees Not Included

West Sedona Town House For Sale

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Must See This West Sedona Town House For Sale

 New Listing – 1360 Vista Montana #26 – West Sedona 86336
1360 Vista Montana For Sale

This West Sedona townhouse for sale  is now on the market.  It is a 2 bedroom 2 bath townhouse in the Vista Montana area right off Soldiers Pass and the 89A.  The location is great for those who enjoy walking.  You are very close to shopping, restaurants and medical, dental and eye care.

This townhouse is an end unit. It has a big back patio, great for entertaining.

In West Sedona there are no other townhouses available in Vista Montana at the time this was put on market.  It will not last long.

Remember, I am THE Realtor® who tailors specific real estate solution just for you.  Ask me how I can help you. For more details call me at 928-274-7355.

See MLS info for this West Sedona town house (Condo) at link below

31 to 32 pictures – See more info and pictures here!

1360 Vista Montana For Sale

West Sedona, AZ 86336

#Remax Sedona


Basic Search

What Matters Most? Why Location Trumps Everything!

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In just about all instances, customers who want to purchase Sedona real estate, are looking for views of the red rocks.  This is generally number one on the wish list.  However, a close second, is privacy or a big lot where neighbors are not too close.  Some of the other areas you find below don’t figure in closely if you have already decided on real estate in the 86336 zip code of Sedona.  Everything is close by, especially if you choose a home in West Sedona.  Just remember, homes with views & privacy command a higher price tag.  Most luxury homes are built on premium lots with land and views.

Big Park or the Village of Oak Creek is about 20 to 25 minutes away from the West Sedona area.  Many residents like the slower pace of the Village.  The questions below are more appropriate for those who live in the Village (Big Park).

Take a lesson from that old real estate adage “location, location, location.” Many seasoned homeowners will tell you that the size of your home and the amount of space you have—including extra living rooms, game rooms, or even acreage — becomes far less important to you in short order if the location is wrong.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • How long is my commute to work? At first blush, the thrill of ownership may overshadow a long commute. Eventually, however, many commuters begin to feel that their families get to live in the home and they just visit for a few hours in the evening and on weekends. If being part of family life is Sedona real estateimportant to you, look for something closer to your work, even if it’s a little smaller.
  • Is it near to my children’s schools? As children progress through school, the number of activities for them to be involved in increases dramatically. If the commute to their school for ball games, drama club, band practice and the like is too long, either you’ll spend all of your family life on the road or your children may miss out on things that could be important to them.
  • How far away is shopping? Living on rural property or in a newer housing development may seem like the perfect opportunity, but if you run short on milk for breakfast, is it an hour round trip to the nearest market? Or, if you choose an urban condo for its great walk score to restaurants and nightlife, do you have to have a vehicle to drive just to find groceries? The inconvenience of far-away shopping affects the enjoyment of your new home.
  • Do I enjoy activities in the nearest community? Whether urban, suburban or rural, your connection to your community affects your satisfaction and contentment with your location. If you prefer the theatre, but live in a community that only celebrates agriculture, your quality of life may suffer. Conversely, if you love the great outdoors, but your city only offers indoor activities, you may need to rethink the location of your home.

Other considerations:

Of course, one of the biggest reasons to consider location is the future sale of your home. No matter how lovely your home is, or how perfect in every other way, its location can make or break a future sale.

But, if you’re concerned about the environment, the location of your home can leave a larger or smaller carbon footprint. An EPA study points out that a home’s location relative to public transportation, energy sources and the actual housing type significantly affect energy consumption. While living and working in Southern California, my husband and I put around 60,000 miles (combined) on our vehicles every year. Now that we live and work in Sedona, our combined mileage has been reduced by 66% to 75%. Everything is within  1 to 10 miles on average.  In Sedona, there are many green homes and more being built. As a past-president of the Sedona Luxury Real Estate Professionals, we invite many builders and environment friendly home specialists to present their products and services.  I can help you find the solutions that best fit your needs.

Before beginning your property search, take time to reflect on what is most important to you. Then, let your real estate professional in on the secret. He or She will narrow the search to those locations that fit your needs, wants and desires best.

It’s Time For Spring Cleaning!

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Spring CleaningNow that the weather is finally warmer and spring really seems to be here, it’s time to tackle some of those nasty cleaning jobs you’ve been putting off. If you’re planning to put your house on the market, or getting ready to leave a rental for your newly purchased home, take on these projects now. Don’t procrastinate.

Refrigerator

We don’t know how it happens, but refrigerator drawers and shelves seem to collect gunk and goo. We can swipe them with a wet cloth on the fly, but at least a couple times a year we need to remove all the contents and give those shelves and drawers a really good scrub. Typically, these pieces are too large to fit in the sink, so consider taking them outside. Use a biodegradable cleaner and wash them out over your lawn so that the water does double duty.

Rugs

Those beautiful rugs that kept our toes cozy all winter are due for a good beating. Of course, you can vacuum them as well, but sometimes a good shaking or whacking with a broom or rug beater is just the ticket. Make sure you have a sturdy clothesline or balcony rail to hang them over. Letting them air out in the fresh outdoors can help get rid of that musty winter odor too.

Mini-Blinds

Though wonderful for controlling sunlight, mini-blinds are a housekeeper’s nightmare. Dusting each of those little slats, or even using special tools doesn’t always work. At least once a year, lay them out on the lawn and give those blinds a good spray with an eco-friendly degreaser. Then, use the hose and a spray nozzle to wash off all the grime. Dry them in the warm sun before hanging them back up.

Comforters and Duvets

Take your large blankets, comforters, duvets and quilts and wash them in your own large capacity washer or take them to a nearby Laundromat. But, rather than pay for all that drying time, bring them home and hang them out on a sturdy clothesline or railing to dry outdoors. Giving them a good airing out can give them a lovely freshness and prepares them to be packed away until the cold weather returns.

Trash cans

Even when you use bags, your trashcans are subject to grime and ooze. Line them all up on the edge of the patio, fill them with organic dish soap and put the kids to scrubbing with big sponges. If a water-fight ensues, all the better! Once the cans are clean, let them dry outdoors.

Inside

While all your carpets, trashcans, quilts and blinds are drying in the sun, now is a good time to mop those floors, dust the overhead fans and tackle the windows. Of course, spring-cleaning all goes more quickly if you round up the whole family to help for just one day a year.

If you’re getting ready to sell your home, there are some other items you should consider tackling too. Give us a call and we can tell you just where you need to invest the most time and effort.

 

Why Use Wood-Look Tile?

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Wood-Look Tile

A newer trend sweeping the building industry is the use of wood-look porcelain or ceramic tiles. While natural wood flooring is still an optimal choice for most homes, here are some reasons you may want to take a second look at wood-look or wood-grain tiles:

Humidity situations:

  • Moisture: if you live in a humid or moist climate, natural wood may succumb to warping or swelling when exposed to excess moisture. Fluctuations in humidity levels where the level in the air is higher than the level in the wood can cause a condition known as “cupping.” Cupping is when the floor has a washboard appearance and feels uneven underfoot.
  • Lack of moisture: in the reverse situation, where the wood has more moisture than the air, the moisture in the wood evaporates and causes shrinkage. In plank wood flooring, gaps may form between the planks. Parquet flooring exposed to low humidity may loosen and break apart. Even in typically high-humidity areas, running a furnace in the winter can reduce indoor humidity enough to damage wood flooring.
  • Properly laid porcelain or ceramic wood-look plank tiles give the rich look of wood, but do not swell or shrink with excess humidity or arid conditions.

Temperature control:

  • In warm climates, the cost of air conditioning can be a budget breaker. Ceramic and porcelain tiles are cooler to the touch and can help reduce the need for excessive air-conditioning.
  • At the same time, ceramic and porcelain tile is not as cool to the touch as marble, for example, so in colder climates it is not too cold in the wintertime. If your climate tends to extremes, you can mitigate the cold flooring in winter by installing radiant or hydronic (circulate water) heating mats under the tile.

Durability:

  • Tile comes in five varying grades of durability rated from light traffic to extra heavy traffic. The choice of tile should reflect the traffic and use that it will receive. Tile strength is graded by the Porcelain Enamel Institute and rated for hardness from Group 0 (only wall tile) to Group 1 (I, or PEI1) through Group 5 (V, or PEI5).
  • Compared to wood or carpet, ceramic or porcelain tile is water, stain and wear resistant. That means you can get a wood look in your kitchen or bath and not worry about damaging the floor if your dishwasher floods or the kids start a water fight in the shower.
  • Scratches can mar the look of wood flooring, requiring expensive sanding and refinishing. Laminate flooring like Pergo cannot be repaired once scratched—those individual planks need to be replaced. Depending on the grade, ceramic or porcelain tile is nearly impervious to scratches from normal wear and tear, so if you’re one of those homeowners that like to move the furniture every week or two, but love the look of wood flooring, wood-like tiles are a win-win.

Resale value

For homeowners, along with all other considerations is the concept of resale value and return on investment (ROI). Wood flooring increases home values, but wood-look ceramic or porcelain tile can add the same or similar value over the long-term. Additionally, tile often is less expensive to install, so your return on investment can be even greater.

The best choice is the choice that fits you and your family’s lifestyle, continues to look good for years and is easy to maintain.

Perform Due Diligence

One thing you have to know is that some of the tile that comes from other areas of the world may have chemicals or materials that you would not want in your home.  I recently talked to a home decorator who told me that some there are manufacturers in China who include formaldehyde in the making of certain ceramic tile.  So make sure you check the Master Standard Data Sheet to see what in in the product before you purchase it.

 

The Sedona Real Estate Experience Is All About You!

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As customers, there is no magic formula that tells us how we can make our journey as trouble-free as possible. But a good Realtor® can help navigate the journey with you in mind. It takes real flair to be able to make it look easy and make the experience … all about you!

One of my foremost traits is the ability to connect with people. I genuinely care for people and want to share my love of real estate with all my clients and customers. I will listen to your request and concerns and you will find that not only do I LISTEN to what you say, I put what you say into effect! My enthusiasm for real estate is contagious and the more you see me in action, you will realize the choice you made was the right one.

The experience is all about YOU! It is not about your Realtor® or anyone else. You are the one who will be buying or selling the property. No one else matters. I get this. You will find that I will help you and work with you anyway you see fit. The Realtor’s goal should be to make your experience as enjoyable as possible. If nothing else, your Realtor® should make the process transparent and be able to smooth out the ebb and flow of each wave that the real estate process brings. All real estate agents provide services, what makes me different and better is that I will provide solutions that are unique to your situation.  I am YOUR Solutions Realtor®.

You can learn more about me at http://SheriSperry.realtor or go to the About Me” menu item in the header.  I can help you.  Get started today!

Here are some of the features of my amazing and fast website.

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How Important Are Rain Gutters To Home Maintenance?

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How Important are Rain Gutters to Home Maintenance? #sedonarealestate,If you’ve owned a home for a while, you know that water entering the home can be at least a hassle and at worst a cause of major destruction. Not only should keeping water from sneaking into those tiny cracks and crevices be a priority, it could make the difference between owning an asset and owning a money pit. One of the primary ways to protect your home from undesirable moisture is installing gutters.

Benefits

Most people think that the sole purpose of rain gutters is to direct water coming off the roof toward downspouts to keep it from dripping on their heads over doorways. The value of gutters is much more that that, however. Not only that, water moving off a roof can roll under the drip edge of the roof and seep under soffits and eaves, weakening the wood. It seeps between the joints or masonry and the framework, exposing your home to mold and other damage. If subject to freezing temperatures, the water inside the wood freezes and swells, causing internal damage to beams, joists and framing. Another benefit to rain gutters and downspouts is controlling the flow of water away from your home and off your property.

When water is controlled, instead of just pouring off of the roof slope, it can:

– Prevent damage to siding.
– Prevent staining on brickwork.
– Preserve overhead garage doors and exterior doors from damage.
– Stabilize soil and the home’s foundation.
– Prevent sidewalks, patios and driveways from settling and landscaping from erosion.
– Protect basements and crawlspaces from flooding.

Doing gutters right

There is much more to gutter installation than simply hanging them from the eaves. In order for gutters to function correctly, they need to have the correct pitch. In general, the gutters should drop one inch in slope for every ten feet in length so that the water runs toward the downspout rather than pooling up in a low spot.

Check your gutters to make certain they are correctly sloped by placing a hose at the closed end of your gutter and allow the running water to gently flow into and through the gutter. Water should only flow toward the downspout.

Downspouts matter too

Make certain that your downspout actually direct the water away from the structure of your home. Optimal would be extending the terminal end of the downspout several feet away from your home’s foundation or onto a concrete or vinyl downspout extension. Alternatively, install underground drainage that leads away from your home’s foundation to the street gutter, or to a drywell.Downspout drainage

In the picture on the right, the downspout is 3 inches from the wall of the home. When there is rain, the 3 inch drain is designed to carry the water away from the property. The downspout and the drain are to close to the foundation. If the rain is heavy, water could seep into the wall and down to the foundation. Drainage fix The above picture shows the downspout going straight into the drain.  No water can escape.  In the rare case of a monsoon microburst, there is a larger 6 inch drain that can take up any additional water.  The drain funnel is designed to enter at an angle causing a vacuum effect to suck up water fast.  Two other downspouts next to the home were re-engineered to eliminate potential corrosion (see below).  At the same time the drainpipe was enlarged all the way to the edge of the property to accommodate more flow and push the water into the natural ravine behind the home.  For most homes this might be the street gutters or sewer pipes.

Sometimes, the end of the downspout gets damaged or smashed. Over time, downspouts that are covered by soil tend to corrode. When this happens, water and debris can back up into the downspout and gutter, rendering them useless and setting up your home for potential damage. A corroded downspout may allow water to seep into the foundation causing additional damage.

Maintenance

Make certain gutters are clear of leaves and debris.  After a major storm, even if your roof has not sustained major damage, clear shingle residue from gutters to avoid problematic buildup. In Sedona, schedule cleaning gutters in spring and fall schedules.

Here in Arizona, the heaviest rainfall starts in Monsoon. Monsoon activity starts around June 15th and goes through September 15th. We can get microbursts that dump rain at a rate of 6 inches an hour but usually last a very short time. We need to plan for this well in advance.

Conclusion

If you’re looking at a home to buy, make sure the home has gutters installed. If you want to increase the value of a home you’re selling, installing gutters gives buyers peace of mind about potential water problems.

 As always, you can rely me for on all real estate related questions.

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Sedona Real Estate – Early Spring Landscaping – A Prescription For Winter Blues!

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Early Spring Landscaping Gets Us Out of the Winter Funk!

Early Spring LandscapingMost people who have recently purchased Sedona real estate may not be aware of the high & low temperatures and how it may affect what you plant in your garden.  You can find the information at Ricks World Sedona (sperryr.com).  On the home page, you will see a tab for “Weather”.  Select this tab and you have years of data at your fingertips. Bulbs, tubers, perennials and indigenous plants beautify your home and give year-round enjoyment for decades to come. If you bought your Sedona home or other real estate, in the fall or winter, you may not know what is under the snow or mulch, but you can prepare for spring planting anyway and liven up the atmosphere with color inside your home as well. Bulbs and tubers planted in the spring typically bloom in the summer. To get a head start on those blooms, consider forcing bulbs indoors. Sedona Real Estate Bulbs There are two types of bulb: those that are native to warmer climates and those native to colder climates. A warm climate bulb, like an amaryllis or paperwhite narcissus can be grown indoors without chilling in a pot or shallow bowl and then transferred outdoors when the weather warms. Amaryllis come in reds, whites, pinks, peaches and yellows. If you like, you can grow these bulbs in soil or simply in a shallow bowl with pebbles and water to hold them in place. They usually bloom about four weeks after you begin watering them. It is ideal to keep stems short so that they remain sturdy. To do this, keep them in indirect light and temperatures around 50°F for the first couple of weeks. Move them to a lighter, warmer location after that. Cooler climate bulbs require chilling at temperatures of 35-45°F in order to stimulate the bulb to start developing. Most of these bulbs need four to five months of cooling before they begin developing and forming flowers inside the bulb. If you don’t already have bulbs, consider purchasing pre-chilled bulbs from a nursery. Once you expose the bulbs to warmth of around 60°F with indirect light, either indoors or outdoors, they will begin blooming in about three to four weeks. When you have shoots between three and five inches high, you can move them to a sunny window. Once the buds have color, if you are keeping them indoors you should move them to indirect light and they will bloom longer. Great cooler climate bulbs include tulips, hyacinths and daffodils, all of which come in a variety of colors and have fascinating names like Apricot Beauty (tulip), Negrita (purple tulip), Orange Emperor (orange tulip), Peter Pan (white crocus), Pickwick (striped crocus), Bridal Gown (double creamy daffodil) and February Gold (miniature yellow daffodil). Tubers, corms and rhizomes Other “bulb-like” plants are actually tubers (like potatoes) and tuberous roots (like sweet potatoes), corms or rhizomes. For example, a crocus is actually a corm. Other corms include gladiolus and freesia. Begonia, anemones, caladiums and cyclamen are tubers, while dahlias and daylilies are tuberous roots. Begonia and caladiums make great indoor blooms. Rhizomes include tiny delicate blooms like lily-of-the-valley and the tall brilliant flowering stems of canna. Irises are a creeping rhizome which means that they fill in space in dense clumps year after year unless separated and replanted further apart. There are more than 300 species of iris, but the best ones to grow indoors are the dwarf irises. They need to be chilled for about eight weeks in barely moist soil and shoots will form before you need to bring them into a sunny location. Curb appeal Forcing bulbs, rhizomes, corms and tubers indoors means that you can add a bright spot of color to your flowerbeds as soon as the weather warms.  

 

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Arizona Is Like Much Of The Sahara Desert…

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I think not….

#sedonarealestate

When a person who has never been to the Arizona desert, shuts their eyes and visualizes the #redrockrealestate“desert” landscape, they normally think of a picture of sand dunes from “Lawrence of Arabia” or maybe Star Wars “Tatooine“! Some may think of a lone tumbleweed rolling across the sand. But in reality, Arizona deserts are not the arid, parched, hot wasteland they are perceived to be.  Many times when showing a customer Sedona real estate, they perceive Sedona weather to be just as hot as Phoenix. Arizona has many climate zones and the weather in Sedona is not at all the same as Phoenix. Sedona is in the transitional area below The Great Basin Desert.

Arizona is Home to All 4 North American Deserts

Actually, Arizona is the only state that is home to all 4 of the major deserts in North America.  Here are the 4:

1. The Great Basin which is the largest of the North American deserts and is ranked 9th overall in the world.  Most of the area is in Nevada, small parts of Utah, Idaho and Northern Arizona area. It transitions to the Colorado Plateau and further south into Red Rock Country.

2. The Mojave (number 21 on the list of world deserts) is mainly in Southeastern California but juts into Arizona on the western area of the state.

3. The Chihuahuan (ranked 10th) is largely in Mexico but bleeds over into Arizona, New Mexico and Texas.

4. The Sonoran covers most of Central & Southern Arizona from Phoenix to the south into Mexico. The Sonoran Desert is 14th on the list of world deserts.  The pictures below come from the displays of the Desert Botanical Garden.

Sheri Sperry Sedona's Top Realtor #sedonatoprealtors

Desert Botanical Garden

I had an opportunity to visit the Desert Botanical Garden.  It was a very peaceful and find Sedona homes for sale #sedonaselectpropertiesrelaxing visit.  The Gardens feature Sonoran Desert plants.  Of course Spring is one of the best times to visit the Gardens.  The weather is great and the plants, trees and flowers are blooming.  Most of the birds and other little creatures including bunnies are starting the mating rituals.  There are some roadrunners that habitat there and if you visit you might just catch more than a glimpse of them!

find homes in Village of Oak Creek #bigpark #vocrealestateThere are over 140 acres with 50,000 plants, trees and other exhibits including restaurants and a company store.  The Desert Botanical Garden is one of only 24 gardens accredited by the American Alliance of Museums.

We decided to take the guided tour and we are glad we did.  It gives you an overview of the garden, the mission and the vision of that has been carried forward from the original founding members of which Gertrude Webster was a dominant member.  Search for #1 Sedona Arizona Realtor Sheri Sperry #1SedonarealtorTheir goal was to educate others to appreciate the Sonoran Desert and all it has to offer.  The Garden continues today to promote the original stewardship set by the founders.  The facilities are used for fund raisers, adult classes and trips, kids programs, digital learning for students and teachers. You can even learn horticulture and landscaping techniques. search for Sedona luxury homes for sale #sedonarealestateThe Garden also provides scholarship opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students.  There is also a Desert Botanical Garden Research Department.

Find Sedona Luxury homes for sale #sedonaluxuryproperty

Remax Sedona Real Estate Agent Sheri Sperry #sedonarealestate
Organ Pipe Cactus

Sedona Arizona Expert Realtor Sheri Sperry #SedonaAZbestrealtors

Tax Tips for New Homeowners

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Tax Tips for New HomeownersTax Tips for new Sedona homeowners!

Congratulations, You are a new homeowner in the Sedona area!

As a new Sedona homeowner, whether you purchased a condominium, cooperative apartment, single-family home, townhouse or mobile home, your home-sweet-home affects your tax status. If this is the first year you’ll be filing your taxes as a homeowner, there are a few things you need to know to take the most advantage of your new status. Before filing your taxes, be sure to discuss each of these with your tax professional.

File a Schedule A

If you’ve been used to using the EZ forms to file your taxes, you’ll need to remember to use the 1040 Schedule A instead. It is more complicated than taking the standard deduction, but you’ll be able to itemize costs like mortgage interest, property taxes, the points you paid to get your loan, and mortgage insurance.

  • Mortgage interest: By far the biggest tax break, your mortgage interest is the biggest expense reflected in your house payment. In fact, most of what you pay in your monthly mortgage payment often is interest. In fact, unless your loan is for more than $1 million, you may be able to deduct all of that interest.
  • Home equity line of credit: In general, equity debts up to $100,000* are fully deductible.
  • Points: If you paid points in order to get a more favorable interest rate on your home purchase, the IRS lets you deduct them in the year that you paid them under certain qualifications. Those qualifications include, among other things, that you used the loan to purchase or build your main residence, and are an established practice in your locality. Points paid on a loan for a second home typically must be amortized over the life of the loan.

In addition to the items connected directly with your home, the Schedule A also allows you to itemize personal property tax, state withholding and local taxes. If you donated furniture, clothing, appliances, and other items to charity when you moved, you’ll be able to itemize your charitable deductions as well.

Know your exemptions

When you file a W-4 with your employer, you choose the exemptions you are allowed to claim. When you own a home, you may be able to claim more exemptions on our paycheck. Carefully balancing your exemptions allows you to take home more money in your paycheck during the year, giving you more cash in hand to pay on your mortgage.

Conclusion

If you don’t know the questions to ask, or if you want to purchase a home so that you can take advantage of tax breaks for next year, contact us. We are your real estate professionals and we can keep you up to date on the latest information on the benefits of homeownership. Also, if this is your first home ownership, you may want to take advantage of a tax professional to assist you in gathering all your deductions.

*Some exceptions apply.

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Cornville Home For Sale in Verde Santa Fe

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This VSF Cornville Home For Sale is in the 55 Plus ~ Gated Community

Verde Santa Fe Home For Sale

This Cornville 2 bedroom home for sale with 1.75 baths and 1371 square feet which is located in the 55 + neighborhood of Verde Santa Fe (VSF) is a unique property.  It is a detached home. Very few homes in this neighborhood have this feature.  It has no common walls with any other unit.  It is located in a gated community and sits on a desirable cul-de-sac lot with a community buffer zone which offers more space around this particular home.

Verde Santa Fe Cornville Home for sale

 

For those who enjoy outdoor activities as well as social activities and events, this community has it all. This neighborhood has it’s own separate pool area and is part of the larger community clubhouse and pool area. Golf is located nearby.

This home will be available in the first week of March 2015! There are already interested parties and the property will be priced in a desirable range. (This property is no longer for sale) 🙁  – But Sheri can find you a home that will fit your needs, wants and desires.  Just call her at 928-274-7355.

If you have any questions about this property or any other, please contact Sheri Sperry.

Contact Sheri Sperry

 

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Want Something To Do On President’s Day In Sedona?

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This home has sold!  Call Sheri Sperry for

Sedona homes for sale.

Just another way Sheri Sperry of Coldwell Banker helps sellers sell their home fast!

Sheri Sperry & Omar Kenney – Teaming Up For Open House on President’s Day 2015 in Chapel Area of Sedona!

81 Bell Rock Drive Sedona For Sale

Want someting to do on President’s Day?  Check out our OPEN HOUSE!

Omar Kenney of Bay Equity Home Loans will be on hand to answer questions and help you determine your home mortgage needs.  You can depend on Omar to give you immediate and personal attention.


mortgages

Omar Kenney 

Area Sales Manager
NMLS#: 895736
Office: 928-348-8309

Bay Equity Home Loans

This is one stop shopping at it’s best. Work with the area sales manager and a top Sedona REALTOR® at the same time!  Enjoy a tour of the the LOWEST price per square foot in the Chapel Area. This home is a SUPER value at the price it is being offered. Want to see what a tripple pane window looks like?  

Visit this property.  Check out the views in person. Views to the southwest include Cathedral Rock while the views to the east include the Chapel area. 

Sheri Sperry Coldwell Banker Sedona one of the top realtors in Sedona


Get with me for all your real estate needs in the Sedona area real estate market.  Select this for Instant Property Search Buttons for Sedona, Big Park, Village of Oak Creek and all of the Verde Valley.

This home has sold.

Call Sheri Sperry 928.274.7355 for current choices in the

Sedona Homes for sale market.

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